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Clarity Break Thought

Written by Gino Wickman on January 16, 2014

Clarity Break Thought

"You Can't Build a Great Company on Multiple Operating Systems---You Must Choose One"

The term "operating system" usually correlates to technology or is related to software. Consider an "operating system" for running your business, for managing and orchestrating the human energy in your company.

I've been helping people run their companies for more than 20 years. When it comes to running, growing, or building a great company, you will see 10 universal disciplines that must be orchestrated. You could go back hundreds of years and see these 10 showing up with any organization made up of people; the product or service is irrelevant. These are timeless truths when running an organization.

Said another way, when you lock yourself in a room with the leadership team of an entrepreneurial organization to help them achieve their goals, there is always some variation of 10 different foundational issues that need to be addressed. Frankly, when working with any organization or group of people looking to accomplish something, these basic needs are all the same, very clear, and intuitive.

If you look at what business thought leaders have been teaching for decades, you'll see that they've been reinventing and translating these 10 disciplines a thousand different ways through thousands of books, seminars, and other various mediums (I'm guilty of being one of them). They all teach a variation of one or more of these 10.

The 10 are as follows: planning, communication, measuring, process development, organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, problem solving, team cohesion, leadership, and management.

The point of this "Clarity Break," as you will hopefully take some quiet time to consider, is to get you to think about how you do each of these 10 disciplines in your organization. And furthermore, it's to imagine that to the degree you incorporate all 10 consistently in your business, you will have an operating system and all of the benefits that go with it.

If you have the wherewithal, energy, interest, and time to create your own company's operating system, do it. You will need to decide on and be consistent with how you and your people will do the 10---how you plan, communicate, measure, manage processes, structure, clarify roles and responsibilities, problem solve, create team cohesiveness, lead, and manage. Make sure everyone in your company does it the same way and says it the same way so that you are all speaking the same language. Assuming you do that, you then have a proprietary operating system for your company. By implementing an operating system that encompasses all 10, you will accomplish the true definition of synergy for your organization-the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.

If you want to save yourself the hassle of creating your own, you can enjoy the benefit of my almost 25 years of obsessing, honing, refining, and creating a complete operating system. EOS (The Entrepreneurial Operating System) incorporates and addresses all 10 disciplines into a complete and holistic system to help you simplify running your business and managing the human energy in your organization. It's simple, practical, and all-encompassing. It's all available in Traction and Get a Grip and on our website. When EOS is implemented in our clients' companies, they report faster growth, better life balance, more income, more control of their business, and considerably more satisfaction with what they are getting out of their people. You, too, should get these benefits by implementing an operating system.

Whether you create your own or use ours, the most important point to understand is that you can't build a great company on multiple operating systems---you must choose one. Everyone doing it their own way can't work. It's less effective and tougher to get results. A team of average people running their company on one operating system will outproduce, outgrow and outcompete a team of above-average people who are all trying to do it their own individual way, any day of the week.

As you take on 2014, consider making it one of your goals to run on one operating system.

Let us know if we can help.

Stay focused,


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